Where the Sidewalk, I mean Story, Almost Ended

pocket of love

Almost three weeks after Swimming Through Clouds hit Ebook-Shelves at Amazon and Smashwords, the first reviews are beginning to roll in. And it’s been a thrill to hear back from readers their thoughts and reactions to my heart’s first adventure, fictionally speaking. In addition to the thoughtful and encouraging reviews, friends have left me FB messages, Tweets, and occasionally texted me in the middle of the night [when you’re my age, 1:00AM-ish is the middle of the night!] but I’m always honestly giddy and tickled by their words. The one consensus that seems to arise time and time again regards the ending. And if you haven’t read Swimming Through Clouds [STC] yet, I’d encourage you to pick it up and give it a whirl before reading on. Because I might not detail the ending in this blog and I will avoid spoilers as best as I can, but in order to address some of the questions and concerns that have been brought to my attention, I might have to mention a thing or two, and I for one, don’t want to spoil it for you. :)

So… now that we’ve narrowed the cyber audience to those who are anxious to find answers, I will now attempt to tell you what happened. Without telling you what is GOING to happen. 

You see, I wrote and rewrote the ending close to ten times. In earlier drafts of STC, things happened. Tragic things. Crazy things. Unspeakable things! Okay, I’ll say one: But don’t freak out! Cuz this was an older first draft. Disregarded. Stuffed in a drawer. Never to be pulled out again.

But in the very first draft, a main character took his last breath. In a car explosion. In the parking lot. Of the garden.

That was supposed to be how Lagan’s story ended. Permission to gasp granted.

But not now. Not any more. Not at all, in fact. That ending was scrapped. And I’m just as glad as you are. :)

What happened you ask? Well, a reader friend of mine boldly stepped forward and said, “What if you didn’t do those things? What if happy-ish things happened instead? What if there were suggestions of things to come? What if you answered some questions but not all of them? What if….” Yes. The list went on. But then my Agent and several other early readers gave me similar feedback. Which swayed me even more. But I wasn’t SO easily and completely swayed to change everything. 

You see, as much as fiction serves to take us out of present day reality, I still wanted a healthy dose of reality to still seep through the final pages of Swimming. Partly because I know in real life, all the loose ends almost never tie up neatly at the end of any given day. But we can still often fall asleep in peace, knowing we very likely will have another go at the madness of life. Tomorrow. Of course even tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Being married to a doc, I hear enough stories to know the truth in those words.

But endings are also beginnings. Graduation season is upon us and the word commencement says it all. One chapter closes. Another opens. For the record, I have no plans of writing a ten part series that begins with Swimming. I don’t think this story needs to be continued forever. I want to leave the readers with an ending that satisfies in Book Two but leaves them with room for their own fine tuning of unwritten details. 

 

About to dive back into Book Two after a month of Swimming Through my first book launch and all the marketing madness that swept in with the tides of my first story. And it’s been a ride. What a ride, it’s been! 

The ride. The ride. Trying to take it in stride. :)

***

Okay. Give me your best shot. Throw me all your questions that you want answered in Book Two! Ask me whatever you want about Swimming Through Clouds. And tell me whatever else is on your mind, like what color of flip-flops you’re sporting this summer! Cuz I want to know! I really do!! :)

Dive Into Another Waterfall:

6 thoughts on “Where the Sidewalk, I mean Story, Almost Ended

  1. OMG, the death of Lagan???? I never like tragic ending. Living a life is such a bitter truth with all bitterness of realities, so human (me too 😉 ) need an escape. I got my answer that why did you leave us lost at the end, preparing another……. that seems good. I want all questions to be answered in second book, all mysteries to be resolved with happily ever after ending.
    Keep writing with smiling.

    • Wow. “All questions to be answered!” I can’t promise that. But I hope you’ll enjoy the journey as the story steps back and forward and wraps up in Book Two. :) Thanks for reading!

  2. Ok. Growing up in Darien and having gone to high school there, my only hang up was the commute to the botanical gardens and the Botanical garden being a bike ride away. But of course, I am sure it had a place in your story and is significant for many other reasons. I loved the book and looking forward to part 2!

    • Good point. I guess I could have mentioned that he jumped on the train for part of the distance with his bike. But I also dated (and married) a dude who would bike 30+ miles all over Chicago just to destress and work out. So I didn’t think the distance was an issue for an avid biker.

      So happy you loved the book! :) Hoping to pay attention to some of these type details better in the second book. Thanks so much for the feedback, Hinsdale South Graduate! :)

  3. How did the car explosion happen? Did the father find out about Lagan? Did he cause the explosion? Wow what a crazy ending!

    • Definitely had the father’s fingerprints all over it. Yes. And no. To your second question. And YES! Totally too crazy. Thus, the changes. Learning how to be a novelist. I’m sure I will make and have made mistakes but I’m glad someone kept that BOMB from going off. The kind of mess you can’t recover from. Unless, of course, I was writing a Soap Opera script. Then, the more ridiculously insane, the betta! :)